sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Matt Rutherford solo around the Americas: Exclusive interview
Matt Rutherford solo around the Americas: Exclusive interview

'Matt arriving at the end of his ten month voyage'    .    Click Here to view large photo

Last month 31-year-old Matt Rutherford arrived back into Annapolis in Maryland to become the first solo sailor to circumnavigate North and South America. He did it an ancient 27-foot Albin Vega called the St. Brendan that many would have believed would never make it around. I interviewed Matt this week on his incredible voyage

Matt Rutherford sails toward the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay after 314 days at sea -  .. .  
He told me that after acquiring the boat, he spent a mere $27,000 on readying it for the journey, and it cost him $8000 while travelling, mostly to pay for his satphone time. During his ten months voyage - 314 days - he had every sort of weather and every sort of challenge. He sailed, non-stop, an incredible 23,000 miles. He was almost run over by a freighter and had to fire shotgun rounds into the air so drunken fishermen would steer their boat clear of his boat.
'I never thought I would give up though,' he said, 'I was too determined to think seriously about giving up.'

The boat was not purpose built and, after gale conditions, an icy pathway through the North West Passage, vast lonely miles down the Pacific and the huge waves of Cape Horn, his boat was showing some wear.

'But after Cape Horn I started to think I would make it all the way around,' he told me this week, 'I was happy to have completed the two most dangerous parts (the Arctic and Cape Horn).'

Seven thousand miles before he reached home, his engine died, leaving him with merely solar and wind power to charge batteries on the boat. There was a leak below the waterline which he found impossible to fix. Then even his solar panels and wind generator died, leaving him with no power to charge batteries or phone.

I asked Matt what were the qualities that he thought got him through when the going got tough. 'Seamanship is crucial,' he said, 'and the only way to learn seamanship is through experience, you can't learn seamanship from a book.' Then he quoted Ernest Shackleton, famed Antarctic sailor and explorer who in one exploit traveled in an open boat from Elephant Island to South Georgia, a distance of 700nm in 14 days, to save his crew left behind on Elephant Island.

'Shackleton taught me how to suffer with a smile on my face.'

But it wasn't all suffering. Matt described sighting Narwhals in the Northwest Passage as his most memorable moment in the voyage. 'Baffin Bay was nice,' he said, with typical understatement, 'with all the beautiful icebergs. Cape Horn was pretty.'

What about loneliness, I asked him. 314 days is a long time to spend alone. His reply is typical of the response of the long distance cruising sailor. 'Loneliness on land is different then loneliness at sea. On land there are people around so if your lonely you wonder, 'Why doesn't anyone want to talk to me'? At sea there is no one around to talk to so it isn't as bad. Being alone doesn't bother me.'

Would he do anything differently if he were starting now? His answer was a terse, 'I would get better solar panels.'

Summing up his voyage, Matt downplayed the sheer enormity of the voyage he had just completed. 'The ocean can be difficult,' he said, 'but for the most part my circumnavigation of the Americas was a pleasant and enjoyable experience.'

Matt Rutherford - now on the ’speaking circuit’ -  .. .  
But that made it sound as though anyone could do it, while to the sailing world it was an incredible feat. 'Yes,' he agreed, 'We are all capable of incredible feats, all you have to do is believe in yourself'

Lee Tawney, director of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, was less reticent about Matt's achievement. 'It's like Edmund Hillary going up Mount Everest without Sherpas,' he said on Matt's arrival back into Annapolis.

There are no 2012 inductees into the National Sailing Hall of Fame as yet, but here's betting Matt Rutherford's name will be among them this year.


by Nancy Knudsen

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=97114

12:38 AM Wed 16 May 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Adventure Sailing

Related News Stories:

09 May 2012  Ludo Bennett-Jones - around Britain in a 16ft dinghy
02 May 2012  South Passage: an opportunity not to be missed!
28 Apr 2012  Solo sailor Jeanne Socrates on a new quest
21 Apr 2012  He's done it! Sailor sets Around-Americas solo sailing record
20 Apr 2012  Sailing the Arctic - the opening sea routes
18 Apr 2012  Solar-powered yacht's circumnavigation - in the home stretch
17 Apr 2012  Book Review: The New Northwest Passage
16 Apr 2012  Matt Rutherford around the Americas solo - almost home
14 Apr 2012  Southernmost sailing voyages - who really has the record?
07 Apr 2012  Amundsen's North West Passage - not just a difficult sail
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World



Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: Riding the AC45 - VIDEO by Crosbie Lorimer, Hamilton Island










America's Cup: Five Challengers sign-on for 35th Match by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,


Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad talks Time and Money (Part II) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,


















AWT Quatro Desert Showdown at Punta San Carlos by American Windsurfing Tour,
















America's Cup: Rod Davis - Time for a change after ten years with team *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,








Maxi yacht rendezvous this September in Sardinia by International Maxi Association,










IFDS Worlds - Hot competition on first day of racing
Challenging Conditions - CORK OCR
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 for the US Sailing Team
2014 Melges 20 World Championship - Countdown begins
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 3
America's Cup: Team NZ wish Davis well with new team *Feature
Fisher's View: Sailing perfection at Hamilton Island- Day 3
Roble and Wilson still number one match racers in the U.S.
2014 Formula Kite World Championship Day 1
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 images by Jude Robertson
Volvo Ocean Race: Forget the f-word - Team SCA profiled
52 Super Series - Fleet grows, 2015 dates revealed
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Teams from 9 nations on the podium
IFDS Worlds - Former president presented with ISAF awards medal
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Improvements aplenty in Byte CII fleets
America's Cup: New Zealand loses top coach to Artemis Racing
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part I) *Feature
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race Day 9 - Swish on record pace
2014 CORK Olympic Classes Regatta - Day 3
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 2
2014 IFDS World Championship: Opening Ceremony images   
Opera House Cup - Images by Ingrid Abery   
Teams descend upon Cowes for inaugural J/111 World Championships   
Hamilton Island Race Week: Everywhere there's smiley people   
IFDS World Championships - US Paralympic hopefuls ready for racing   
Sopot Match Race - Poland's Tour debut deemed a triumph   
Vineyard Race celebrates 80th running of the East Coast classic   
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games: Young sailors begin racing on Lake Jinniu   
AWT Quatro Desert Showdown - Victory for Morgan Noireaux   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - Day 8: Test of endurance   
Bart's Bash: Over 2300 entered from 588 yacht clubs - Join here   
Halifax ready to welcome the world at 2014 IFDS World Championships   
RC44 World Championship title to Bronenosec + Video   
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: Day 2 Images by Crosbie Lorimer   
IFDS Worlds - Gary Jobson to attend opening ceremonies   
Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Dalton DeVos crowned champion   
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games trailer   
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Canfield wins   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Varuna takes overall lead   
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week; Crosbie Lorimer Day 1 Images   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT